Hilario to get new attorney

LIHUE — A convicted murderer will have a new court-appointed attorney to represent him at sentencing in a separate case.

Vicente Kote Kapika Hilario, 26, of Anahola, accepted the withdrawal of his appointed defense attorney Warren Perry from Hilario’s case involving a firearms and drug conviction.

Perry represented Hilario through a jury trial that trailed his murder conviction in April. A 5th Circuit jury found Hilario guilty on May 16.

Sentencing was to follow in September but Hilario asked the judge for the change of attorneys after a court order was not followed to return $2,792 in cash that was taken as evidence in the firearms case.

On Thursday, Perry reported the situation had not changed and stood by his motion to withdraw.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Melinda Mendes stood by the state’s objection. She said that no valid reason was given for the withdrawal or for postponed sentencing.

Chief Judge Randal Valenciano said the court would attempt to appoint Keith Shigetomi, the attorney who represented Hilario during his three-year murder trial. If he is not available, then the court would find another attorney, he said.

A jury convicted Hilario of the first-degree murder of 34-year-old Aureo Eric Moore at Anahola Beach Park on Dec. 17, 2010. He was sentenced to life without parole in July and is being housed at Kauai Community Correctional Center until his other matters are resolved.

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